The Kardashian sisters may be celebrities non grata in South Beach, but North Miami has rolled out the proverbial red carpet for Kim, Khloe and Kourtney.
On Monday, a few weeks after the starlets’ plan to shoot their reality show on Miami Beach was rejected, they were lauded and given the key to North Miami during a ceremony that featured a invocation by a local pastor and words of praise by North Miami’s mayor.
“Thank you again for choosing North Miami as your home away from home,” said Mayor Andre Pierre, who told the audience that the Kardashians will bring national attention to North Miami.
A slew of paparazzi and local television crews greeted their arrival at City Hall.
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But the ceremony was decidedly unburdened by Hollywood glitz: a buffet-style reception featured paper plates, clear bags stuffed with dinner rolls and a sheet-caked decorated with a frosted turkey.
Kim and Kourtney did not partake in the feast, but were nonetheless gracious. (Khloe, the youngest of the sisters, was a no-show. She had to head to L.A. to film X Factor.)
“We are just so excited that everyone welcomed us with open arms,” said Kim Kardashian, the most high-profile of the sisters due to a famously short-lived marriage to an NBA player and who is currently dating hip-hop superstar Kanye West.
Before the presentation, Pastor Gregory Toussaint prayed for the Kardashian family and asked God “to bring great and godly success,” to the sisters’ endeavors — which includes their reality-show empire on the E! network.
The sisters are currently in production for Kourtney & Kim Take Miami, a spin-off of the popular Keeping up with the Kardashians. They are renting a waterfront home in the San Souci neighborhood.
Not everyone was familiar with the Kardashian oeuvre.
North Miami resident Marie Jean-Noel politely clapped as the sisters accepted their plaques, but conceded she had no idea who they were.
She said she heard Pierre on Haitian radio urging people to attend .
“No I don’t know who they are,” said Noel, “The mayor said to come and support. I know who they are now.”
Pierre himself was unfamiliar with perhaps the most famous, or infamous, Kardashian exploit: Kim’s 2007 sex-tape scandal, which helped propel the formerly unknown daughter of the late Robert Kardashian — an attorney who helped defend O.J. Simpson — into the national spotlight.
Later in the day, Pierre said some residents had questioned him about why he would honor the tabloid fixtures.
“I didn’t hear about the sex tape until the media made me aware of the tape last week when we announced they were going to be honored,” he said. “I was advised that this was a boyfriend and girlfriend relationship and the situation went south and someone decided to publish an intimate moment between two people. It’s not a porno.”
He said he stood by his decision to honor the Kardashian clan.
“The Kardashians are productive members of the community,” he said.